I was recently subjected to a work capability assessment carried out by Atos Healthcare.
I was informed such assessments generally last for 20 to 25 minutes as they are done using a tick box method (ie asking relevant questions and ticking off the answer most suited to each situation).
My assessment lasted one and a quarter hours as I described in detail my ailments both physical and psychological from past and present.
I specifically asked for, and received, a full detailed copy of the report from the Department of Social Care, as I suggest everyone should, and I was surprised to note that none of the problems I’ve endured were in the report.
I was even more surprised to be told during a meeting with the Social Care Minister Chris Robertshaw and an employee of his department that I had only just qualified to retain my benefit for another year, subject to possible other assessments.
In doing background checks on Atos I’ve discovered there has been widespread concern about the methods they use.
During their time here in the island, I’ve been advised that of just over 100 people assessed so far a paltry 33 people have been allowed to continue claiming their benefits.
The national average of fraudulent claims in the UK is 0.5 per cent.
I would encourage anyone already subjected to such an assessment who feels it unjust to contact their local MHKs or indeed the local newspaper as I am doing. If you were unable to attend or too scared, call someone. Don’t suffer in silence! Help should be available but too often isn’t.